I am socially awkward. Not like a little awkward, but so awkward that I’m constantly thinking of what to say and do everytime I’m in a group setting of more than one or two people. And when I am one on one, I find my heart racing at the thought of a moment of silence where neither of us know what to say next. I get anxious when thinking about being part of a group, especially if that group is already tight without me being involved.
Most people would never know this about me. I’ve (somewhat) mastered the art of making conversation. I’ve learned little catch phrases that I can use when I start to feel anxious about what to say next, and I’ve learned to be an excellent listener. As long as you can keep people talking, there’s no pressure to have to say much in return. I’ve also found that people really want to be heard, and by showing them that what they have to say is important, it can make their day.
I’ve always envied those people who have a natural ability to entertain and to capture others with their charisma. It’s as if they have no cares for what anyone thinks about them, and this in turn intrigues people. My husband is one of those people. He becomes the center of attention every time he walks into a room without ever wanting or trying to.
Interestingly though, I’ve realized that just about everyone has a bit of social anxiety. It’s a desire, and for some a NEED, to fit in. People want acceptance and love, and they panic a little when they may not get it.
But what is this intrinsic need and where does it come from? The Bible calls us to be separate and different, to stand out from the world, yet this idea is scary when we really boil it down. We nod our heads to a sermon about being different, but we all secretly have a desire to be understood by others.
Now that I’ve lead you on long enough, I guess I can answer the question: Why are we like this? Why do we want to be understood and seen so badly?
The answer is simple: God created us with a deep passion to be loved and truly known. Not “known” like you know an acquaintance, a friend, or even a spouse – As even a married person can tell you there are places in their hearts that their spouse can’t completely understand. I can personally recount a few times I ran to my husband with a passionate, deep revelation that the Lord shared with me to hear in response a simple, “That’s pretty cool…”
The need we have is deeper than any human understanding can fulfil. It’s a need to be known by our Creator. After all, He’s the only One who can truly understand the deepest places of our hearts. The Bible states that He knows every single thought we think before we even speak it. He knows the number of hairs on your head and saw every moment of your life before it happened. He offers the closest companionship that can be found.
A.W. Towzer explains in The Pursuit of God that, “The walk of a saint is a lonely one.” By this he perfectly sums up how every person is bound to feel without a savior: LONELY. Christ is the ONLY person that can ever understand the deep places of your heart. Not only does He understand, but he embraces YOU. All of you. The quirky, corny and silly parts. The serious, thoughtful and melodramatic parts. He loves every part of you and welcomes you without a judgmental and condemning presence.
If you find yourself lonely or with a need for man’s acceptance, understand that no man can fulfill you. Learn relationship with your Creator, for He is the only person that can understand the depths of your heart. I promise that if you met all six billion people on earth, you would still find a spark of loneliness hidden deep inside of you. Look to God today, and He will give you the warm companionship you have searched for all along.
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